Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Article excerpt

Review: Seeing the Forest and the Trees By Emilio F. Moran and Elinor Ostrom (Eds.) Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith Charles Sturt University, Australia Emilio F. Moran & Elinor Ostrom (Eds.). Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Human-Environment Interactions in Forest Ecosystems. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2005. 442 pp. ISBN 0-262-63312-4. US$35.00 (trade paper).

This is an intensive and tightly focused discussion that reviews current thinking about changes in the ecology and geography of forests as shaped by human actions. It concentrates its discussion at the global level, with some local examples that further elucidate global understandings. The book is lodged firmly in the context of contemporary United States scholarship. Virtually all authors are associated with the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change at Indiana University in Bloomington. Given that, the subtitle might have provided a better description of the book if it had been based upon the name of the Center.

Although the book provides a high quality analysis of global changes in forest distribution and character, it simply does not deal with perception or with ecosystems in the generally understood meaning of these terms. It emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation, but the tight focus upon the field of global change research obscures and overrides interdisciplinary exploration. …

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